Photos Mike Goldstein

Twilight. It will come as a relief to most of you, and a disappointment to the emo teenage girls amongst you, that I am not talking about a series of movies about gay sparkling vampires. No, I am referring to that period of the day where the sun begins to kiss the horizon, and you are milking the last slivers of light slicing through the trees.

paul stevens,  blog, 201, specialized, 2011 Demo 8
  Sitting at the trail head is all well and good when the sun is still shining. Later in the day is a different story.

Riding in the twilight is a weird sensation. The thought of whether the obstacles ahead are reflecting enough light to be able to avoid them crosses your mind briefly, shortly followed by the realization that you didn’t bring lights, and the longer you spend procrastinating, the darker it is going to get. With the alternative being walking, of course you drop in, to find that now you are moving, everything seems to be a lot harder to take in, the messenger running the pathway between eyes and brain has had a long day, and he’s already half asleep. Trees and stumps are flying past, but they seem sped up when they appear just a few feet in front of you. Heart pounding, you finish the trail, and tell yourself that was reckless, and you will bring lights next time, when deep down you know you won’t, because the majority of the time you ride the twilight, you aren’t planning to, the ride was just too much fun to end while the sun was still shining.

paul stevens,  blog, 201, specialized, 2011 Demo 8   Making hay while the sun shines, Squamish.

Apart from the small issue of Whistler being covered in snow for most of the winter, the impending twilight has made winter rides few and far between, and usually frustratingly short. So I jumped at the chance to work once again with my good buddy, and expert film maker, Mike Goldstein, when he called me after a few dry days, and a cold sunny spell, to do some riding in Squamish. My new Demo 8 and I had only been out for a couple of rides together before this trip, but with the sky so clear that the sun felt warm again, and just a dusting of snow on the higher peaks, it was the perfect day to get more accustomed to it.

paul stevens,  blog, 201, specialized, 2011 Demo 8  Getting in some quality time in the sun with the new steed.

With camera and editing technology becoming exponentially better, cheaper and more readily available to the masses, we decided that we needed to branch out from the norm, and come up with something a little different. Mike had some great ideas, including the “7D crotch cam” otherwise known as the rich man’s GoPro, which was the only time I have ever been so worried about crushing somebody else’s valuables between my legs. Also included in the day’s inventions and innovations was a terrifyingly wide bar mount, held together with a lot of duct tape, and a comparable amount of hope.

paul stevens,  blog, 201, specialized, 2011 Demo 8   The crotch cam, terrifying to ride with!

paul stevens,  blog, 201, specialized, 2011 Demo 8   Just in case the crotch cam wasn’t awkward enough…

A brief walk into the trails, and it was soon apparent that the cold snap had drawn almost all of the moisture out of the dirt, leaving a crunchy brown layer of surface hoar in most corners, but sheet ice in others. Conditions were challenging, but in the spots where there was grip, it was like sandpaper. It didn’t take long before the twilight began to creep up on us. The old growth surrounding us started to block the sun’s rays early, trees began flying past me way too fast and coming out of nowhere, so it was time to escape the forest and head into the clear cut, to milk the last of the light.

paul stevens,  blog, 201, specialized, 2011 Demo 8   Milking the light as the sun nears the horizon

Keep a look out for More of Mike’s work behind the lens in the next few weeks, we are working on a very different kind of bike check…watch this space.

We’re stoked to have Paul – and his 2011 Demo 8 – back on the team for 2011. Share your wisdom here…

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